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Fall 2014

Sep. 8th. 6:30pm. Ice Auditorium. Jack Racove, "How Do We Know What the Constitution Means?"

Guest lecture by Jack Racove in honor of Constitution Day.

Contact: Nick Bucolla nbuccol@linfield.edu.

Sep. 22nd. 6:30pm. Ice Auditorium. Colin DeYoung, "Causes and Consequences of Cognitive Exploration: How Openness to Experience and Intellect Help Explain Human Personality"

One of the most striking characteristics of human beings as a species is the complexity of our cognitive processes and representations of experience. No other species produces fiction, philosophy, representational art, or mathematics. Among people, however, there is much variation in the degree to which people engage in these kinds of cognitive exploration. One of the five basic dimensions of personality describes these individual differences in cognitive exploration. Controversy has lingered over whether to label this factor Openness to Experience or Intellect, but research indicates that these two labels in fact describe two different components of one broader trait. In this talk, DeYoung will describe what Openness and Intellect share and how they differ. He will describe what we know about the sources of these traits, including how they are generated by the brain and influenced by both genetics and experience, as well as what we know about the impact these important traits have on our lives. Understanding Openness and Intellect is crucial for understanding human personalities.

Colin DeYoung is Associate Professor of Psychology in the area of personality, individual differences, and behavioral genetics at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on the structure and sources of psychological traits, using neuroscience methods to investigate their biological substrates. His major research topics include (1) development of a theory of general personality structure and its sources in psychological and brain function; (2) the study of cognitive abilities, such as intelligence, working memory, decision making, and creativity; and (3) externalizing behavior problems, including impulsivity, aggression, antisocial behavior, and drug use. He received his A.B. from Harvard University in 1998, completed his doctorate at the University of Toronto in 2005, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University before moving to the University of Minnesota in 2008. In 2007, he won the J.S. Tanaka Dissertation Award for methodological and substantive contributions to the field of personality psychology, from the Association for Research in Personality. In 2012 he won the SAGE Young Scholar Award from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology. His research in personality neuroscience has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Contact: Yanna Weisberg yweisber@linfield.edu.

Sep. 30th. 6:30pm. Austin Reading Room. Social Media Panel, "Knowing Your World Through Social Media"

Social media can make us feel like we know a lot about other people and the world. But how much do we really know? How accurate is information spread through social media? Who's trying to persuade us using social media? And what does it mean to be a "friend" or "follower" online? Join us to explore these questions in an interdisciplinary discussion with experts from politics, journalism, public relations, and psychology, mand become a smarter, more sophisticated user of social media.

Panelists:
Kelli Matthews, instructor of public relations, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication
Rick Thomas, partner, Quinn Thomas Public Affairs
Megan Kozak Williams, associate professor, Department of Psychology, Linfield College

Contact: Susan Currie-Sivek ssivek@linfield.edu

Oct. 3rd. 12-1pm. Pioneer Reading Room. Dr. Sarah Wagner-McCoy, “How We Know and What We Read: African-American Literature in the Archives”

Dr. Wagner-McCoy will discuss her discovery of unpublished stories by Charles Chesnutt, one of the first professional African-American authors in the nineteenth century, and share how her findings transform our understanding of American literature. Her talk engages this year’s PLACE theme from a literary and historical perspective, asking how we construct our knowledge about an author’s work and its place in a larger historical narrative—a place that is often based not on what an author wrote, but on what we chose to read. Dr. Wagner-McCoy teaches American and Transatlantic literature at Reed College and is editing a new collection of Charles Chesnutt’s short stories.

Oct. 20th. 6:30pm. Ice Auditorium. Philosophy Powell Lectures & PLACE: Prof. Mike McNamee

Mike McNamee is Professor of Applied Ethics at Swansea University, Professor Chaire Olympique Henri de Baillet Latour & Jacques Rogge 2013-14 at the University of Ghent/Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and Visiting Professor 2013-16 at Hunan Normal University, China. He is the founding Editor (2007) of the international research journal Sport, Ethics, and Philosophy, and is also editor of Routledge’s books series "Ethics and Sports" (with Jim Parry). His research overlaps the fields of philosophy, medicines and the health sciences, and sport. He has published or edited 17 books, among which are Sport, Medicine and Ethics, Handbook of the Philosophy of Sport (with B. Morgan), Sports, Virtues and Vices, and Research Ethics in Exercise and Health Sciences (with Olivier and Wainwright). He has also published over 80 articles and 50 book chapters. Former President of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport, he is Founding Chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association, and Vice President of the European Association for the Philosophy of Sport.

Lecture 1: "Olympism, Doping, and the Spirit of Sport"
Olympism is said to be a philosophy of life blending sport, education, and culture. The Latin motto of the Olympic Movement, coined by the Baron Pierre de Coubertin, is “Citius, Altius, Fortius: faster, higher, stronger.” It might be thought that the never-ending pursuit of athletic enhancement should, according to Olympism, should actually sanction forms of doping including genetic manipulation in order to continue pushing the limits of athletic achievement. To the contrary, I argue, that the concept of limits, informed both by Olympism and human nature, ought to provide a structure within which we more wisely admire athletic excellence both technically and ethically. I conclude that the unfettered pursuit of athletic enhancement ought to be constrained by a proper appreciation for the nature and value of the 'spirit of sport'.

Lecture 2: "Paralympism, Disability and the Ethics of Elective Amputation"
Paralympism - were the idea to be taken seriously as a 'philosophy'- might offer a normative picture of the kind of way of life to which persons with disabilities might aspire. In this presentation I offer a critique of the idea of Paralympism in the context of the International Paralympic Charter's four stated values: courage, determination, inspiration and equality. In testing the adequacy of these values, I critically discuss two real cases arising from Paralympic sports involving amputation of limbs that either (a) enhance sporting performance; or (b) enable disability sport membership of an otherwise able bodied person, by the use of elective, non-clinically indicated, amputation surgery. I argue that although individuals may have entitlements to body modification surgery within liberal democracies (qua agent sovereignty and some conception of the “harm principle”), it does not follow that disability sport organizers must accept their participation in events such as the Paralympic Games. I argue that disability sports organizations, including the International Paralympic Committee, should ban such practices and better articulate their value base in order to preserve the integrity of disability sports.

Contact: Jesús Ilundáin jilunda@linfield.edu